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CBS News goes inside Syrian refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters

Syrian refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters
CBS News goes inside Syrian refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters 02:46

Al-Hol, Syria — A sprawling refugee camp in northeast Syria is described as a breeding ground for ISIS and a ticking time bomb. A few hundred U.S. allies guard the Al-Hol camp, where the strict laws of ISIS are followed.

The guards call the Syrian refugee camp the "Islamic State" because while they control the fence, inside, they said, ISIS is in charge. Ten thousand foreigners live there. They are wives and children of accused ISIS fighters. The men are mostly dead or in prison.

CBS News went inside and met women who wouldn't say where they come from, but sound British, and they defended ISIS terror attacks in Europe and the U.S. 

"This is ISIS ideology, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. That's what it is," one woman said. 

When there's violence here, and there have apparently been several murders, it's almost impossible to find the perpetrators, because all of the women are covered.

Holly Williams speaks with women inside the Al-Hol camp in Syria. CBS News

In an ISIS propaganda video, women send a message from the camp. We're a ticking bomb, one says, just you wait and see. In another video, young boys chant that they'll crush the heads of non-believers.

There are no real schools there, but one guard said the entire camp is effectively an ISIS academy.

Many women said they're repentant. A pair from France and Belgium said they want to go home if their governments will have them, and said ISIS hardliners have threatened to burn their tents down at night.

But CBS News met women who don't want to go home. They came to the camp to live under Islamic law.

"We are in favor of what Alah sends upon us. If he says an adulterer should be stoned, then it's said and I have to accept it. That's it," one woman said. 

ISIS may have been defeated on the battlefield, but it still commands the hearts and minds of its followers.

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